PART I. GENERAL
[ 246 PA. CODE CHS. 300 AND 500 ]
Order Amending Rules 313, 506 and 507 of the Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings before Magisterial District Judges; No. 367 Magisterial Rules Doc.
[44 Pa.B. 13]
[Saturday, January 4, 2014]
And Now, this 20th day of December, 2013, upon the recommendation of the Minor Court Rules Committee, the proposal having been published for public comment at 43 Pa.B. 3470 (June 29, 2013):
It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rules 313, 506 and 507 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings Before Magisterial District Judges are amended in the following form.
This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective on February 20, 2014.
TITLE 246. MINOR COURT CIVIL RULES
PART I. GENERAL
CHAPTER 300. CIVIL ACTION
Rule 313. Service Outside the Commonwealth.
* * * * *
Official Note: See the Judicial Code, § 5322, 42 Pa.C.S. § 5322 (as amended by § 10(61) of the Judiciary Act Repealer Act, Act of April 28, 1978, P. L. 202, No. 53) and § 5329(1), 42 Pa.C.S. § 5329(1), as to the basis of personal jurisdiction over persons outside the Commonwealth. The magisterial district judge may designate any Pennsylvania sheriff or constable to make service under subdivision (1), but such service should not be attempted if it would be offensive to the jurisdiction in which service is to be made. See Uniform Interstate and International Procedures Act, § 2.02, Commissioners' Comment, 13 Uniform Laws Annotated 297. Alternatively, the magisterial district judge may designate any adult other than the plaintiff to make service under subdivision (1). Although the magisterial district judge may not designate the plaintiff as the person to make such service, the plaintiff may suggest to the magisterial district judge the name of a person to make service. If service is made by ordinary mail under subdivision (2), the magisterial district judge shall note that fact on the [original complaint form] docket with the remark that a sufficient time having elapsed the ordinary mail was not returned [and]. The magisterial district judge shall attach to the original complaint form the returned certified or registered letter with the notation by the postal authorities that the defendant refused to accept it. If service is to be made under subdivision (3), the magisterial district judge may send the service copy of the complaint to an appropriate official of the jurisdiction in which service is to be made. If service is made under subdivisions (1) or (3), proof of service may be made on the form provided under Rule 314A with such alterations as may be necessary or in any manner provided by the law of the jurisdiction in which the service is made for proof of service in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction.
CHAPTER 500. ACTIONS FOR THE RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF REAL PROPERTY
Rule 506. Service of Complaint.
A. The magisterial district judge shall serve the complaint by mailing a copy of it to the [defendant] defendant's last known address by first class mail and noting on the docket the date of such mailing, and by delivering a copy of it for service to the sheriff of, or any certified constable in, the county in which the office of the magisterial district judge is situated. If this service is not available to the magisterial district judge, service may be made by any certified constable of the Commonwealth. The officer receiving the copy shall serve it by handing it to the defendant or to an adult person in charge for the time being of the premises possession of which is sought to be recovered or, if none of the above is found, by posting it conspicuously on those premises.
* * * * *
Rule 507. Notation and Return of Service; Waiver of Service.
A. The magisterial district judge shall note on the [complaint form] docket the date [on which he mailed a service copy of the complaint to the defendant] that a service copy of the complaint was mailed to the defendant, and the sheriff or constable serving a copy of the complaint shall, at or before the time of the hearing, make proof of service on the form provided, which shall show the manner of service and the day, hour and place thereof.
B. The appearance of a defendant in person or by representative or the filing by him of a claim in the case shall be deemed a waiver of any defect in service but not a waiver of a defect in venue.
Official Note: This rule parallels the provisions of Rule 314A and C [of the trespass and assumpsit rules].
Recommendation 6-2013, Minor Court Rules Committee
Amendments to Rules 313, 506 and 507 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings before Magisterial District Judges
Notation of Mailing Date of Service Copy of Complaint
On December 20, 2013, effective February 20, 2013, upon recommendation of the Minor Court Rules Committee,2 the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania approved amendments to Rules 313, 506 and 507 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings before Magisterial District Judges.3
I. Background and Discussion
The Minor Court Rules Committee (''Committee'') recommended amendments to the rules of procedure governing actions in magisterial district courts. The goal of these rule changes is to amend the existing requirement that a notation be made on the complaint regarding the first class mailing date to the defendant, requiring instead that the notation be made on the docket.
The Committee received inquiries in 2009 about the requirement set forth in Rule 507A, which provides that a ''magisterial district judge shall note on the complaint form the date on which he mailed a service copy of the complaint to the defendant.'' Despite the requirement set forth in Rule 507A, both inquiries observed that the complaint form did not contain a field for such notation. Moreover, the Committee was asked whether the failure of a magisterial district judge to note the mailing date on the complaint would constitute a failure of service due to the court's failure to comply with the rule. The Committee agreed that there should be consistency between Rule 507A, the complaint form and actual practice. The Committee published a proposal at 40 Pa.B. 522 (January 23, 2010) that proposed amending Rule 507A by removing the notation requirement. In response to the publication, the Committee received comments from interested parties, some of whom pointed to a need to record the date of service by first class mail. The Committee was persuaded by the correspondence, yet remained apprehensive that hinging proof of service upon a handwritten notation was entirely reliable. The Committee subsequently modified the original proposal to require notation of the first class mailing date on the docket, rather than written notation on the complaint. The revised proposal was published for public comment at 43 Pa.B. 3470 (June 29, 2013).
II. Approved Rule Changes
The Official Note to Rule 313 was amended to provide that notation of service made outside the Commonwealth by ordinary mail should be made on the docket, rather than noted ''on the original complaint form.'' Stylistic changes were also made to Rule 313. Rule 506 was amended to provide that the copy of the complaint served on the defendant should be mailed to the ''defendant's last known address,'' as well as to provide that the first class mailing of the complaint shall be noted on the docket. Finally, the title of Rule 507 was amended to reference ''Notation,'' and to remove the requirement that the first class mailing date of the service copy of the complaint be noted on the complaint, and instead, require that the notation be made on the docket. The change to Rule 507 also eliminated a gender specific reference, and, in the Official Note, removed the dated reference to ''trespass and assumpsit'' rules.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-5. Filed for public inspection January 3, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]
1 The Committee's Final Report should not be confused with the Official Notes to the Rules. Also, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania does not adopt the Committee's Official Notes or the contents of the explanatory Final Reports.
2 Minor Court Rules Committee Recommendation 6-2013.
3 Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Order No. 367, Magisterial Rules Docket, (December 20, 2013).
No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.
This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.